Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Office of Financial Aid is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Students are accommodated on a first come, first served basis. Telephone assistance is available during office hours at (513) 569-1530.

The goal of the Office of Financial Aid at Cincinnati State is to enable access to higher education by providing college financial planning and quality customer service to students and families in pursuit of their educational goals. Cincinnati State awards approximately $60 million annually from federal and state financial aid programs, private donors, and the College’s own funds. More information on financial aid can be found at

Financial aid is money in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment through Federal Work-Study. Scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid. Scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or financial need, while grants are typically awarded on the basis of financial need. Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid over a period of time, usually after the student leaves school. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is money that students earn by working at a part-time job with an office on- or off-campus.

How to Apply

Typically each year, students can begin completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on January 1. (For those applying for aid for the 2017-2018 academic year, students can begin completing the FAFSA in October 2016.) The FAFSA application is available online at The FAFSA includes all information necessary to determine the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA must be completed for consideration of most federal student aid programs. Many states offer financial assistance to students based on the FAFSA results and the availability of funds each year.

Students and parents of dependent students must apply for a Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID) at before they can complete the FAFSA. The FSAID can be used each year to electronically complete and sign the FAFSA, as well as to access Federal Student Aid records online. Students must provide the federal school code number for each school where they want their FAFSA results sent. The federal school code number for Cincinnati State is 010345.

To receive maximum consideration for certain programs, including the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS), students should submit their FAFSA by February 15 of each calendar year. Once a FAFSA is submitted, students receive an email from Federal Student Aid with a Student Aid Report (SAR); students should keep all parts of this report. The College receives the results of each student’s FAFSA electronically in seven to ten business days after it is filed.

Students receive notification via Cincinnati State SurgeMail email and personal email from the Office of Financial Aid if further documentation is needed, or when their award is available.

How Financial Aid Awards are Calculated

Awards are calculated using the following formula: cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals need.

Generally, financial aid is awarded to students based on need. One of the principles behind awarding need-based financial aid is that students and their families should pay for educational expenses to the extent they are able. A family’s ability to pay for educational costs must be evaluated in an equitable and consistent manner. To be fair to everyone, a standard federal formula is used to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The information is derived from the student’s completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial need is the difference between a student’s total annual Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Estimated Cost of Attendance (EFC). A student’s need for financial assistance will differ from school to school because the cost of attendance will differ.

Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)

A student’s COA is pro-rated based on the number of semesters enrolled. The tuition rates and fees below are applicable as of April 2016 and are subject to change. Student’s aid cannot exceed the assigned COA, as follows:

In State Independent Dependent
Room & Board$4,272$2,136
Out of State Independent Dependent
Room & Board$4,272$4,272

Need based aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans, Work-Study, and State Grants) is assigned first to students based on their EFC, priority filing (if applicable), and federal limits. Then, non-need-based aid (Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Alternative Loans) is assigned to students by subtracting the need based aid from the COA, and using the federal limits to award aid for the difference. If a student received any other funding source (NEALP, scholarships, or outside assistance), the student’s award must be re-adjusted to ensure the award does not exceed the COA. For the student’s benefit, aid will be adjusted in the following order:

  1. Alternative Loans
  2. Direct PLUS Loan
  3. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  4. Direct Subsidized Loan
  5. Federal Work-Study (any unearned amount)
  6. SEOG

All financial aid is awarded according to federal, state, and institutional guidelines. Financial aid is disbursed to students after the processing of no-show rosters is complete. Please see the section below on eligibility criteria for more information.

Eligibility Criteria

To receive state/federal financial aid students must:

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Sign a statement certifying all federal student aid will be used only for educational purposes
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on a federal student grant
  • Register with the Selective Service, if required
  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy later in this section of the catalog for more information.
  • Not have been convicted for any illegal drug offense while receiving federal financial aid funds
  • Complete the verification (if selected)
  • Enroll and attend classes for which they are registered

Other general financial aid information:

  • Financial aid awards are adjusted appropriately for changes in a student’s enrollment status.
  • To be eligible for loans, a student must be enrolled in at least six eligible credit hours at the time of disbursement.
  • Students are no longer eligible for financial aid once graduation requirements are met.
  • Students are eligible for student aid only for classes that are applicable to their program.
  • Students are not eligible for financial aid for a class after it has been passed, and is attempted a second time.

The Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate a student’s financial aid award(s) to reflect only those classes for which the student is eligible and begins to attend.

Detailed information on these and other financial aid eligibility criteria may be obtained from